Assessing the Causes, Consequences and Spatial Variability of Burn Severity

The USDA/USDOI Joint Fire Sciences Program funded the Rapid Response project "Assessing the Causes, Consequences and Spatial Variability of Burn Severity" to be conducted during and after active fire incidents. We have sampled on nine large wildfires in Montana, California and Alaska. Our team quantifies conditions before, during and after fires burn.

Our goal is to understand the spatial variability in fire effects and to explore relationships between burn severity and fuels, fire behavior, local weather and topography.

We work closely with and share data and results with Fire Use, Incident Management, and Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams. We provide an improved set of quantitative indicators of burn severity that are scalable and mappable from the ground, using satellite and airborne hyperspectral imagery.

Our data will be useful to fire managers making challenging, timely decisions and in building the next generation of fire behavior and fire effects models.